The Sunday World turned up to see if the self-styled visionary would finally speak



July 19, 2009

THESE are the extraordinary images of money-spinning holy woman Christina

Gallagher “speaking” with the Virgin Mary.

The rare footage obtained by the Sunday World show the under-fire House of Prayer founder going into ‘ecstasy’ as she communicates with the Heavens. It is in these moments that she claims to receive messages direct from the mother of God about the impending destruction of the world. Her states of ecstasy are frequently followed by appeals for more cash to extend her House of Prayer empire. The clips give an amazing insight into the routine, which has hooked thousands of followers and helped Gallagher amass a fortune in donations. They were obtained by the Sunday World as the organisation celebrated its biggest day of the year last week. Donations Hundreds gathered at the Co Mayo house to see if Christina would get a message from Our Lady to mark the anniversary of the foundation of her chain of houses.

The Sunday World also turned up to see if

the self-styled visionary would finally speak

to us and answer questions about how she

has spent millions in donations and why

she lied about living in a €4m mansion in

Malahide, Dublin, bought in the name of

one of her chief fund raisers, John Rooney.

But neither Christina or Our Lady were in the mood to speak. The Sunday World called at the controversial House of Prayer on Achill Island last week as it celebrated its 16th birthday to try and get an interview with the reclusive religious icon. But Gallagher, who also has a portfolio of other properties, was never going to talk to the newspaper which exposed her astonishing lifestyle. Our presence caused a flurry of activity among security staff who began whispering into their FBI-style headpieces and walkie-talkies once we revealed ourselves. I asked House of Prayer manager Noel Guinan if I could meet his revered leader and was told there was “no chance”. He said: “You have tried to destroy this place.” I replied that I had simply asked Gallagher to explain her huge wealth. “That is none of your business,” I was told.

I insisted the public had every right to

know what happened to the millions of

euro they had donated to the House of

Prayer since it was opened in 1993. Why

did she live in a mansion in Malahide?

“That’s none of your business and that’s all I’m saying,” said Guinan.

I asked why she wouldn’t just come out and talk to me if she had nothing to hide.

“It’s up to her who she speaks to. You are not welcome here and I would like you to stand on the other side of that gate,” he said, pointing to the road at the main entry to the House of Prayer. Then, presumably referring to my chances of reaching the afterlife, he said: “You will find out in the end who is right.”


Security staff also stopped me going into the House of Prayer, claiming it was full – although others were allowed in afterwards. A man aged about 30, who refused to give his name, then came over and accused me and Sunday World bosses of being “freemasons” for attacking Gallagher. He dismissed our stories about her wealth and said that he had been a non-believer until three years ago but had since seen the sun “spinning” over the pilgrimage sites of Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorje and also Achill. Being labelled a freemason is a common insult hurled by Gallagher and her staff at anyone who crosses them.

Two English lawyers, once among her

biggest supporters, walked out after discovering

Gallagher’s amazing lifestyle 10 years ago.

Since then she has dubbed them “freemasons out to destroy the House of Prayer”. There were between 400 to 500 people who turned up for the House of Prayer’s biggest day of the year on Thursday, well down on the thousands who arrived in previous years. An undercover Sunday World reporter had gone into the chapel earlier in the day to see if Gallagher delivered her annual message of death and destruction which supposedly comes from the Virgin Mary. The journalist noted that “Gallagher was treated as every bit the celebrity she seems to think she is”.

She went on: “The excitement that she may be there in person was palpable inside the small prayer house. When stewards with earpieces lined the aisle the excitement reached fever pitch. “But like the pro that she is, Gallagher knows the value of anticipation, so she left the crowd hanging on for a further 15 minutes before she eventually emerged dressed all in black from a door marked ‘private’ at the back of the building. “Pensioners reached out to her but Gallagher swept straight past to the altar.”


She said the so-called visionary’s right hand man Fr Gerard McGinnity took to the pulpit first and reminded the adoring crowd just how lucky they were to be in Gallagher’s presence. “To all the pilgrims who have travelled here from all over the world, we welcome you,” he said. “Today we will be lucky enough to have Christina lead us in the rosary.” For the next hour and a half, Gallagher painstakingly recited the rosary, pausing at the appropriate moments for emphasis. She didn’t go into ‘ecstasy’ – the moment when Our Lady supposedly talks directly to her – while our reporter was there.

One man regularly kissed a picture of the

Virgin Mary and another old woman had

her hands lifted up to the ceiling.

Afterwards, the congregation poured out to make way for the next wave of pilgrims waiting their turn to come inside. “Hopefully our Lady will still come through with a special message,” one woman commented in eager anticipation. “Ah, but Christina was great anyways,” another woman replied. Meanwhile, debate over Gallagher’s wealth also hit Ireland’s biggest religious paper, the Irish Catholic, last week.

A letter from a professional man, a former

follower of the House of Prayer, exposed the

lies Gallagher told him when he confronted

her last year about her mansion and other

properties after telling him she’d happily

live in a tent.

Gallagher denied any knowledge of the 4m Malahide house. “She said the only time she went to Dublin was to visit a hospital for medical treatment and on those occasions she stayed with her sister,” wrote the man.

In reality, Gallagher and her staff have admitted this year that she does in fact live in the Malahide house, although they have put a spin on it by claiming she wasforced to flee there as a “refuge” from  the press.


She in fact moved into the house two years before our exposés began. Gallagher also told the man she bought her daughter’s €1m home from the profits she made selling a fabulous home she owns outside Newport, Co Mayo. But the reality is she never sold that house and is still the official owner. Supporters raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy the house from her as a “shrine” to herself after she claimed she could not afford to live there. Despite taking the money, the house is still in her name.

Gallagher told the man she would be taking legal action against the media for libelling her.

“As the weeks went by and the reports

became more lurid, I waited for Ms

Gallagher’s High Court proceedings to

silence the press. There was nothing,” he wrote.

The man said he had quit the House of Prayer after hearing a message from Christina Gallagher in June 2006 which claimed that Our Lord would destroy the state of Texas if a large sum of money was not paid within month to complete one of her houses of prayer. “This to me was an insult to anybody’s intelligence,” he said.

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4 Responses

  1. ‘ook around old girl….you will see a vibrant community which defies all the shit and allegations made via Sunday World and Dialogue Ireland…
    There may be necessary properties as places of refuge….but there is much more…and even the SW scum cannot even begin to deny its necessity.


  2. Mairead, what do you mean by Conned?

    I suspect that ‘conned’ may refer to the threat of hell to gouge people for cash in order to keep Christina in luxury mansions. Pretty obvious and I think you knew this already.

    Most of what you read in a magazine, and EVERYTHING you read in The Sunday World will be distorted trash, seeking only lewd short-lived attention.

    How exactly are, for example, the cheque copies or land registry records distorted?

    you will find NO sensation and NO lies and distortion…

    You will also find NO information about where your donations are being used (clue: think mansion).


  3. Mairead, what do you mean by Conned?
    Have you recently been to The House of mPrayer and do you know anything about what that mission really is about?
    Most of what you read in a magazine, and EVERYTHING you read in The Sunday World will be distorted trash, seeking only lewd short-lived attention.
    Do yourself a big favour and inform yourself properly before condemning. Go to The House of Prayer…you will find NO sensation and NO lies and distortion…only prayer, and devotion to Christs Church on earth.


  4. Tragic to think so many people were conned.I must say however that the messages were very convincing.I read an article in an old magazine which claimed that Christina could ‘read’ souls and tell people minute details about deceased relatives.How was she able to do that??She is very plausible indeed.


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